IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! THE FRANKAVERSARY CELEBRATION IS HERE!

frank

Five years ago, a dream came true…

Being Frank was published by Flashlight Press!

So in celebration of Frank’s 5th bookaversary, I’m giving away 5 different Flashlight Press books, one each week for five weeks!

If you haven’t already entered, check out this link for more information about the #Frankaversary giveaway and how to enter!—->>>>>> FRANKAVERSARY GIVEAWAY!

This week’s book prize is…. *drumroll*….

WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN AGAIN written by Jodi Moore, Children’s Author and illustrated by Howard McWilliam!  The winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, September 25th!original_ScreenHunter_18

Each week will be a different Flashlight Press book, so
Share this post and be sure to use the hashtag #Frankaversary

Don’t forget to tag the author, illustrator, @Flashlight Press, and me!

Feel free to share on any other form of social media!

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For Our Daughters

Our middle girl turned 15 on Sunday. I can hardly believe it. Our oldest girl turns 20 in two weeks. In December, our youngest turns 14. This is for each one of them…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
I know you want to soar
Your wings grow bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly–
the world’s not black and white
so let God’s wisdom
lead the way
and fuel your graceful flight

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
soak in God’s love… refill.
Don’t overthink
the simple things,
take time to just be still.

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
and let me hold your hand
for just a
little longer…
one day you’ll understand.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God gave you wings to soar.
Keep growing bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

I know, I know
my Butterfly–
God’s got you in His sight
He’s wrapped you in
his wisdom and
ordained your graceful flight

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
I need to just be still
and know that God is
guiding you,
wrapped in His perfect will.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God holds you in His hand
and loves you even more than me?
One day I’ll understand.

But still, slow down,
my Butterfly,
I know you’re gonna soar.
‘Cause every day
you’re bolder,
braver,
stronger than before…

— Donna Earnhardt, August 2017

Dear Mothers, Daughters, Aunts, Grandmas, and Sisters of the World,

For most of us, there are days when we feel like our best “efforts” and best laid plans just aren’t cutting the mustard…

and it feels more like we’re cutting the cheese.

Yeah. I just made a fart joke. #sorrynotsorry

But come on, y’all, be real. Some days just stink. Maybe for you, that stinky, bad day was yesterday? Maybe it’s today? Maybe you aren’t looking forward to tomorrow?

Some days are harder than others. It’s a fact. And pretending that it’s not the truth won’t change a thing.

Too often, though, we try to hide our struggles with our kids, our jobs, our relationships, our “whatevers”. We feel the need to don our worn-out superwoman cape so the world can see how much we’ve “got it together”… but in reality? Those are the days we limp through– bent over like Atlas with the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Why do we do that?

We aren’t meant to walk alone.
We aren’t meant to carry the world on our shoulders.
We aren’t meant to try and walk in our own strength.

In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (THE MESSAGE)

And in Galatians 6:1-3 it says, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

Wow. Those verses! I am thankful to be surrounded by women who talk to me and listen to me. We share our joys, our struggles, our sorrows, our triumphs, our “whatevers”! (You know who you are!) We don’t pretend that life is always pinterest-perfect. And if we tried to? I can guarantee there would be an intervention of some sort. It would probably involve chocolate, hugs, and lots of REAL talk.

Being fake takes too much effort. I don’t have the time or energy for that. Seriously, friends… I barely have time to take a shower some days. (But I did take one today. YOU ARE WELCOME.) Trying to do this life on our own is an exercise in futility… and it will wear us down to nub.

So don’t go it alone. Reach out. Take off that worn out cape and take on the “yoke” of Jesus. Make the choice to put it on. “Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.”

One last thing — there is something good to be said about the stinky, hard days in our lives: If we will allow the Lord to use them — they can be great fertilizer for better, more fruitful days to come! (Yes. I really believe that. Mostly because I’ve seen him do it my life again and again!)
Happy Saturday, y’all!!

p.s. Sometimes God gives us inspiration from “weird” places. There is a children’s book out there right now that makes me laugh every time I read it. It’s called, ALMOST EVERYBODY FARTS by Marty Kelley. This book kept coming to mind as I was writing this post. I won’t give away the ending – but if you want to borrow it, I’ll lend it to you.

 

p.s.2. If you’re a teacher, mom, or work any a field that involves other human beings, I bet you’ll relate to these memes!

This.

This. 

And This. 

Ironing Things Out

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.
Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been on a workout kick with my dear friend, Sandra, for the last few weeks. We’ve been drinking our water (lots and lots and lots), eating more protein, eating less sweets, and encouraging one another every day to “keep on going”.
If I didn’t receive her text me every morning, I’m not so sure I’d be nearly as motivated to get my physical therapy homework and additional exercise done.
For me, there is something motivational about being held to a standard. 
I’ve been going to physical therapy for several months now. Last week, Rusty (my physical therapist) told me to jump up on a 4 inch block. *GRRRRR!*
I could NOT make myself jump. I was scared to death. He switched it out for the 2 inch tall box. I stood there, looking at it. It felt like it took me FOREVER to get up the courage to jump 2 little inches off the ground! I was so mad at me for not being able to do it. I thought about it all week.

Today, he immediately brought out the 4-inch box… my nemesis. 

This is how I felt…

arch-nemesis_o_1624417

BUT this time… it did not take forever.

AND… I jumped on that 4-inch box 15 times.

YES. I. DID!

My physical therapist knows just how to push my buttons. And when I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goals in PT, I always go home feeling like I need to do MORE. So I keep stretching and working on the things I need to work, hoping that the next week I will do better.

But what happens when my physical therapy is done? And what happens if Sandra is out of town and can’t text for some reason? Do I stop working toward the goal?

NO.

I have realized that I also have internal motivation. I want to be healthy for me, for my family, for whatever the Lord has planned for me day to day and for the days coming up. I don’t know that I’ve felt this much drive to get healthy in a long, long time.. .maybe ever! Many times I would “try” to lose weight and get healthy – then stop when I didn’t see results. But this time, it’s different. I can’t explain it. I just know.

And these verses speaks to my soul in a big, big way… so I’m claiming it for my life!

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40: 28-31 (the Message)

I’d love to hear your success stories. Have you been on a physical journey that required internal motivation to get started and/or to keep going? Did you have others on your journey who helped to sharpen your character and hold you to a standard? How have you seen God at work in your circumstances?

Congratulations to all the winners

Damon Dean, my worthy opponent, won our matchup in the 3rd round of the MADNESS POETRY competition. Congratulations, my poetic friend! Emily Weaver (another poetry buddy) won her matchup as well! WAY TO GO, Y’ALL!

He is now pitted against Hannah Holt. Voting starts tomorrow at 10am! There only a few matchups left in the competition. Show your poetry love by heading over there tomorrow to read and vote for your favorites!

My consolation in the last matchup is that I won the student vote. This means…

camel

(thanks to meme generator and whoever created this crazy pic. It made me giggle!)

 

Last day to vote for Round 3!

Hi y’all! This is the last day to vote in the 3rd round of the Madness Poetry Competition! I am up against a really good poet, Damon Dean. You’ll find his lovely poem pitted against my gross poem here: http://madnesspoetry.com/matchup/likened-vs-abundant-1488171423262×802710174582898600

There are 7 other matchups that need votes, too! If you get a chance, I know all the poets would appreciate your input. ALSO – if you are a teacher, your classrooms can vote, too!

Sweet Sixteen

So… I’ve made it into the sweet sixteen… of poetry, that is! Huge thanks to all who have been reading and voting over at Madnesspoetry.com. I know I can speak for all the poets and say… Y’ALL ROCK. 🙂

We receive our new words tomorrow evening. I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

MADNESS POETRY and catching up!

Hi y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have had a lot going on. Mainly, I’ve been recovering from my ACL surgery in January. I’m going to Physical Therapy and learning to be VERY thankful for two healthy legs. It’s apparent to my physical therapist (and anyone else in hearing distance) that I am impatient and I don’t like the stuff he tells me to do. But I am also determined to do every single REP he assigns (regardless of how hard it is!). Yep… that means I’m stubborn, too. Just being real, ya’ll… just being real!

I’ve also been busy participating in the poetry contest, MADNESS POETRY! This is the first I’ve been able to get in. It’s crazy-good poetic fun! I made it past the first round and I am now up against Jessica Whiteside in Round 2. There are tons of great matchups in this competition!  http://madnesspoetry.com/matchups  

If you are a teacher, you can register your class to vote. It’s a great way to teach poetry and help your students get excited about writing!  http://madnesspoetry.com/teach 

My Mouth

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19

Just because I can say something doesn’t mean I should.

My opinion is my opinion… and because of the brave men and women who fought for our country’s freedoms, I have the freedom and right to voice my opinion. I also have the right to keep my big mouth shut. More importantly for me, as a Christian (because of the sacrifice of Christ) I also believe that anything I say (especially my opinion) should be shared from a place of love and compassion. “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

In Being Frank, Ms. Zaroma says, “You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking.” Sadly, I have not always followed my own advice. I have hurt others with my words, spoken and written. I have regretted the things that popped out of my mouth before thinking them through. I have shared my opinions on my social media quite freely and often times without as much thought as the moment required.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Too often, my answer is anything but gentle — and not at all in line with the above scripture. I’m opinionated… and I know it. I feel strongly about things… lots of things. And this is the reason I have kept my mouth shut (mostly) on all things political for the last few months. I was very vocal before the election, but have decided to turn my voice upwards in prayer. I believe that God can move stubborn mountains… explosive volcanoes… and all things that seem unmovable. I serve a mighty, mighty God and refuse to place my faith in man or woman (including myself). I never have, and I don’t intend to start now.

“She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

I want to to speak with kindness and wisdom – but far too often I just want to talk. And all the things I are not always the things I should say. They are not full of wisdom, kindness, or love.

If I want my words to start to reflect the love of God, I need to do what He told me to do. I need to pray for my my enemies (and frenemies), and those who see me as such. I need to love others as I have been loved – and forgive as I have been forgiven. But these goals can only be reached by allowing God to work in me as only He can — and yes… I’m a lot of work. I’m glad to be able to apply Paul’s declaration to my life, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

I am thankful that God loves me right where I am, but loves me too much to leave me there. I am glad he feels the same about us all.

And that is that.